Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Classic Film Criticism Vol. 3


TopBilled
 Share

Recommended Posts

I posted a blurb on the Susan Hayward thread at the Hot Topics forum yesterday. I thought I would repost it here and start a new thread devoted to some more classic reviews.

 

*I'LL CRY TOMORROW (1955)*

 

Susan Hayward was close to 40 when she played the part, and her scenes as the teenage Lillian lack the necessary eagerness and vividness. It is said she did her own singing, the big, low, rather toneless voice doesn't seem to emanate from her, and when she stands with her chest pushed out and imitates the movements Roth made when she sang, there's no drive behind what she's doing-- nothing to suggest what made Lillian Roth a headliner. There's very little left to suggest what made Hayward a star, either; she falls back on tired technique and flaccid, self-pitying nobility. You have to see her in something like DEADLINE AT DAWN of 1946 to get an idea of how much she'd slipped.

 

-From Pauline Kael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ (1962)*

 

Intelligent, affecting, clearly well-meaning-- too well-meaning as it drones on and on, upliftingly. We don't get enough understanding of Stroud (Burt Lancaster) to become involved in how he is transformed over the years. And though Lancaster has to get points for his willingness to tackle the difficult role, he doesn't have much expressive range, and when he's cooped up like this and can't use his intense physicality he seems numb-- half dead.

 

-From Pauline Kael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*MY MAN GODFREY (1936)*

 

Carole Lombard is a rich gorgeous nit who goes to the city dump to find a forgotten man. The man she finds is played by William Powell. She tells him she needs to take him back to a party in order to win a scavenger hunt. The movie starts out with a promising satiric idea and winds up in box-office romance, but it's likable and well-paced even at its silliest. Lombard shrieks happily and Powell modulates impeccably. Like several of the Astaire-Rogers musicals, this film has a sleek and silvery Art Deco look.

 

-From Pauline Kael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940)*

 

Magical Arabian Nights adventure, on enormous spacious sets and in brilliantly clear Maxfield Parrish colors; the screen seems to be made of velvet. Sabu seems most appealing when the wicked Jaffar (Conrad Veidt) has turned him into a dog; the dog seems to represent the essence of Sabu, and it even looks like him. As the heroine, June Duprez is an unusual enough choice to catch one's interest. And considering how many directors took turns on this picture (Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell and Tim Whelan are all credited, and Zoltan Korda and William Cameron Menzies, who are credited only as associate producers, also directed, as did Alexander Korda), it's surprising how well it holds together.

 

-From Pauline Kael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*NAKED CITY (1948)*

 

After the success of BRUTE FORCE, Mark Hellinger and Jules Dassin returned with this fast-jabbing empty Manhattan-set melodrama about the Homicide Squad. The drab script is by Albert Maltz and Malvin Wald. The film is visually impressive only. Not to be confused with an infinitely superior film Dassin made in London in 1950 called NIGHT AND THE CITY.

 

-From Pauline Kael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...